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Best of the Edinburgh Blogs - Week Minus One

By • West End
With the Edinburgh Festival only a week away, our community bloggers are typing up a frenzy about last-minute preparations, packing and all the excitement ahead. For one Oxford Imp, this has meant taking on producing responsibilities like never before, while two of our one-woman show ladies are struggling with the right fit of suitcase. For Tim Fountain, the preparation phase has meant unexpected discoveries about women's sex lives and our chief critic Michael Coveney wonders whether he has packed enough socks for his journey up north.
  • Festival Highlights: Writer Tim Fountain Reflects on the Creation of Looser Women

    "We've been rehearsing with 25 dildos in a cupboard in London. Though the monks claimed to be Christians, they wouldn't let us use their kettle. One day we were locked out until the author wrestled with the verger and gained forced entry. Apart from that, we've been having a lovely time wading through the hundreds of hours of interviews with women from all over the country about their sex lives. Some of what we've heard has even shocked me, and there've been times when the comedian Wendy Wason, who's six months pregnant, has had a fit of the vapours. However, Karen Dunbar (being Scottish) has taken it in her stride and Rachel Parris has told us a few secrets of her own."

  • Lita Doolan: No Leader of the Pack

    "Everything possible is going wrong. Cheques are honestly going missing in the post and all plan B’s have been abandoned. Outstanding bills are staring at me, then after a strong coffee, my eyes begin to focus and thankfully I see they are mainly receipts. Excitement for Edinburgh is kicking in and I am obsessing about a random set of forthcoming delights like Thomas Houseago sculptures, Georgian concerts and munching those slightly-off brownies sold with cheap coffee in the shop by the castle. Nothing fits in the suitcase like it should. It was silly to expect the set and props of a one-woman show to squeeze into a single Samsonite. Desperate times call for a cheap flight up midweek at silly O’Clock to make two round-trips with the blob-shaped set. It demands a bag of its own. Small poodles require less maintenance than my beloved polystyrene carved set. I cannot guarantee my set designer it makes it to the venue, but best efforts are being made."

  • The Oxford Imps: The view from London

    "Our eternally excellent producer Urska has been doing anthropological research in India these last few weeks, so as Edinburgh-assistant-producer (gosh), I actually had to do something other than display enthusiasm at meetings (which we have over amazing porridge at Patisserie Valeries, on the High Street – seriously, try it if you’re ever in Oxford). So I got to find out what producing an Edinburgh show entails. Turns out: a lot. I always thought being an Imp was a stress-free way to perform because we just go and have fun, no scripts, no costumes, no props, no hassle. Now I realise being an Imp is stress-free because Urska does everything. Tax forms? Posters? Flyers? Performance tops? Press-bothering? Deadlines and contact addresses and to do lists... The hidden Imps world. I have been initiated and there’s no going back."

  • Bryony Kimmings: Edinburgh-Prep-A-Rama!

    "Right now I am in the main space at Soho Theatre (blogging instead of writing the final draft of my show! shhhhhh) I am onstage with various office items as I am sharing the stage with the Mongrel Island set today... my pink glitter tranny heels and cuddly toys are jarring against the grim office decor, something chronic. I am busy figuring out the 'logic' to my show... in theatre terms I guess I mean narrative but that's a terrifying word to me... so we'll stick with 'logic'. Tomorrow I am showing my show to a select few people here and I want it to be dead good, but coffees, cigarettes, Facebook, text messages and other such like are so much more appealing right now. Official head-in-sand moment happening! After these gripes, I am off home to compress 27 individually selected, pawed over and colour-coordinated outfits into one tiny, train worthy suitcase... good times."

  • Michael Coveney: Who's Rocking In Edinburgh?

    "The interval chatter is all about going, or not going, to Edinburgh next week. For some reason, virtually the entire staff of The Stage newspaper were at the opening last night of Betwixt! in the Trafalgar Studios, and one of the reviewing team, Gerald Berkowitz, tells me he's absconding to Auld Reekie for four weeks. That's serious away time. You have a lot of socks and underpants to sort out for that trip, Gerry, and you always hope and pray that nothing is too wrong with the flat when you turn up so that you can dive straight in on the shows. The first big ask is the Traverse opening weekend, and I shall be ready for that first thing next Friday morning, I hope."


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